Meaningful Virtual Action: The Significance of a Repin

In my previous post on Digital Architecture and Online Behavior, I introduced a small case-study of the site Pinterest, and how its social norms and site-architecture have contributed to a new and extremely popular form of online engagement.  Specifically, I suggested that the "click through" feature of pins is a strong draw for both the … Continue reading Meaningful Virtual Action: The Significance of a Repin

Pop Anthropology: Anthro-cize your Summer Entertainment

For your enjoyment, here are a few suggested anthropologically-oriented media bits I have encountered lately: 1. The Wire I was already very familiar with the popularity of this show amongst the academic world generally, but only this summer have I gotten around to making the commitment this show requires. The episodes are 40+ minutes long, … Continue reading Pop Anthropology: Anthro-cize your Summer Entertainment

Digital Architecture and Online Behavior: A Study in Pinterest

FOREWARD: The following is the first post in a series exploring the relationship between the digital world and civic/political activism and engagement. Much tangential material included. In trying to understand the recent explosion of the online social pinboard site "Pinterest", I would like to take a leaf from Lawrence Lessig's idea of the four modalities of … Continue reading Digital Architecture and Online Behavior: A Study in Pinterest

William James on the “Like” Button

“Will you or won't you have it so?” is the most probing question we are ever asked; we are asked it every hour of the day, and about the largest as well as the smallest, the most theoretical as well as the most practical, things. We answer by consents or non-consents and not by words. What wonder … Continue reading William James on the “Like” Button

KONY 2012: An Anthropological Perspective (TO BE CONTINUED)

“Right now there are more people on Facebook than there were on the planet 200 years ago”-opening line of Kony 2012 film. KONY 2012 is a benchmark phenomenon in the history of social media and political activism. A kind of descendent of the Occupy movement and Arab Spring - both grassroots political movements fueled by … Continue reading KONY 2012: An Anthropological Perspective (TO BE CONTINUED)

Notes from the Psychology Underground: Titchener’s Science of Introspection

Instrumentalism and Psychology The field of science studies has increasingly brought into question the role of instruments in the production of knowledge. Works such as Shapin and Schaffer's “Leviathan and the Air Pump” and Latour's “Laboratory Life” question whether experimental instruments and technologies are concrete proof of the objectivity of scientific inquiry, or perhaps whether … Continue reading Notes from the Psychology Underground: Titchener’s Science of Introspection